Agents arrest designer of Kansas water slide that killed 10-year-old boy – Charges include second-degree murder

In this July 9, 2014, file photo, riders go down the water slide called "Verruckt" at Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kan. Late Monday, April 2, 2018, federal authorities in Dallas arrested John Timothy Schooley, one of the designers of the water slide that decapitated a 10-year-old boy in 2016. Schooley and Jeffrey Henry, a co-owner of Texas-based Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts, were indicted last week by a grand jury in Kansas. Schooley will be held in Dallas pending his arraignment and extradition to Kansas on charges that include second-degree murder. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

By DAVID WARREN,  Associated Press  DALLAS (AP) 04/03 — One of the designers of a massive Kansas water park slide that decapitated a 10-year-old boy has been arrested in Texas, federal authorities said Tuesday.

Trent Touchstone, chief deputy with the U.S. Marshals Service in Dallas, said 72-year-old John Timothy Schooley was met by agents at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport as he arrived on a flight late Monday.

Schooley was being held without bond at the Dallas County jail pending his arraignment and extradition to Kansas on charges that include second-degree murder. If convicted on that charge, he could face as much as 41 years in prison. Kansas attorney general spokeswoman Jennifer Montgomery said in an email that she has no information on when Schooley will be extradited.

Online jail records don’t indicate whether Schooley has an attorney to speak on his behalf.

In this July 2014 file image from video, Verruckt water slide designers, John Schooley, left, and Texas-based Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts co-owner Jeffrey Henry, speak about the challenges of opening the 17-story tall attraction prior to it’s operation in Kansas City, Kan. Schooley, one of the designers of the water park slide that decapitated a 10-year-old boy in 2016, was arrested late Monday, April 2, 2018, by federal authorities in Dallas. A Kansas grand jury last week indicted Schooley and Henry. Schooley will be held in Dallas pending his arraignment and extradition to Kansas on charges that include second-degree murder. (Monty Davis /The Kansas City Star via AP, File)

 

A Kansas grand jury last week indicted Schooley and Jeffrey Henry , a co-owner of Texas-based Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts. The indictment accuses Henry of making a “spur of the moment” decision to build the Verruckt ride — touted as the world’s tallest water slide — and that he and Schooley lacked technical or engineering expertise in amusement park rides. A former operations director for Schlitterbahn also has been charged.

Caleb Schwab was killed on the 17-story Verruckt in 2016 when the raft he was riding went airborne and hit an overhead loop.

Schooley and Henry also were charged with 17 other felonies, including aggravated battery and aggravated endangerment of a child counts tied to injuries that other riders sustained on the giant slide.

Schlitterbahn spokeswoman Winter Prosapio said in a statement last week that the indictment “is filled with information that we fully dispute.” She didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking fresh comment early Tuesday.

The indictment alleges the ride violated “nearly all aspects” of longstanding standards established by the American Society for Testing and Materials.

“In fact, the design and operation of the Verruckt complied with few, if any, of the industry safety standard,” the indictment said.

___

AP writer Heather Hollingsworth contributed to this report from Kansas City, Missouri.

https://www.apnews.com/c04278447a7f4fbd89dc75a3a80a8b05/Agents-arrest-designer-of-Kansas-water-slide-that-killed-boy

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Posted in: Accidents, Arrests, Homicide, Indictments, Injuries, Juveniles, Murder/Attempted Murder, Public Safety, U.S. Marshalls, Wrongful Death

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